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Microsoft Surface tablet release date announced

Microsoft's new Surface tablet will release alongside the launch of the company's new Windows 8 operating system on October 26, the company confirmed in an annual report filed this week with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

"The next version of our operating system, Windows 8, will be generally available on October 26, 2012," Microsoft stated. "At that time, we will begin selling the Surface, a series of Microsoft-designed and manufactured hardware devices."

The new announcement is in line with what Microsoft first announced during the tablet's unveiling. The Surface, which runs the yet-to-be released version of the Windows 8 operating system, will ship with two different models. The first will be the Surface for Windows RT which will be released on October 26 and be most similar to the iPad while running an NVIDIA's ARM processor. Approximately three months later, Microsoft will ship the Surface for Windows 8, which will run an Intel Ivy Bridge i5 core processor and enable the Windows 8 device to run more like a standalone computer.

Pricing for the new Surface tablet is said to be "comparable" to other tablets on the market meaning the Windows RT model could cost close to $500. The full Windows 8 version, which will launch later, will be priced similar to ultrabooks, which typically cost $1,000.

Microsoft describes the Surface as "a tablet that's a unique expression of entertainment and creativity". With new features like an integrated keyboard, USB support, built-in Microsoft Office the Surface delivers that office experience on-the-go, and apps available from the Windows Store, the Surface looks to offer the kind of tablet that "works and plays the way you want".

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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